Police dashboard camera video that has been released from the case of the shooting of Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino two years ago shows that he was unarmed. The video was released yesterday by a federal judge after media outlets successfully argued that the public had a right to see the footage.
The footage does show that Diaz-Zeferino disobeyed officer’s demands that he lift his hands up. Instead, Diaz-Zeferino kept his hands near his hips, but with his palms turned open toward officers.
Diaz-Zeferino’s family sued the city for his death and was awarded a $4.7 million settlement along with another man who was wounded in the shooting. This all occurred over a reported bicycle theft in 2013.
“The fact tat they spent the city’s money, presumably derived from taxes, only strengthens the public’s interest in seeing the videos,” Judge Stephen V. Wilson, who released the video, wrote in his decision. “Moreover, defendants cannot assert a valid compelling interest in sealing the videos to cover up any wrongdoing on their part or to shield themselves from embarrassment.”
The Associated Press and other news organizations also argued for the release of the video under the First Amendment.
“The Associated Press, joining with other news organizations, believes it’s important that the public has access to videos like this to better understand the actions of their police officers,” the AP said.
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